Mums or dads who are experiencing domestic abuse don't always realise how it affects their child. They might think that because their child is in another room or doesn't see what's happening that they're not affected. But we know that living in a home where domestic abuse takes place can be really harmful for a child.
It can have a very serious impact on a child's behaviour and wellbeing, even if they're not directly harmed themselves. Children witnessing domestic abuse is recognised as 'significant harm' in law.
Domestic abuse can also be a sign that children are suffering another type of abuse or neglect.
The effects can last into adulthood. But, once they're in a safer and more stable environment, most children are able to recover from the effects of witnessing domestic abuse.
What you can do
It is very important that children living with domestic violence are kept safe. These are the safety messages parents should give their children:
- When you are scared or sad, you don’t need to keep secrets – tell someone you trust
- You are not to blame for what happens
- Everyone feels angry and frustrated sometimes, but violence is never okay
- It is okay to feel upset with Mum or Dad, but still love them
- It is okay to feel mixed up
- Stay out of fights
- Go to a safe place in the house
- Go to the neighbours or a safe place outside
- Ring the police if you are worried
- Help brothers and sisters to be safe.
Support services for children and young people
Phone: 01603 628122
1:1 support for children and young people affected by domestic abuse. The focus on is on safety planning and emotional support. We will also be offering groups and activities.
We offer Grow Together and Side by Side, which are courses designed for families who have experienced.
Grow Together is a course for victims who have previously experienced a domestic abuse relationship and want to understand more about the effects of this on the family. It is not a parenting course - the aim of Grow Together is for victims to recognise any changes that need to be made to strengthen the relationship between them and their child and give them practical tools to make these changes. The course focuses on discussion, interactive activities and creativity through arts and craft which are designed to be taken away and shared with their own children.
Side by Side is an educational parallel course with Grow Together, designed for mums and a child (aged between 8-14) to complete together. The course covers the same content as Grow Together but is delivered slightly differently. Half of each session is spent together as mum and child and the other half is spent separated into child and mum groups.
Telephone: 0300 561 0077
Offers support to children and young people from age 5 – 18 in the areas of Norwich, Great Yarmouth and Breckland.
One to one work is offered around safety planning and wishes and feelings.
Referrals are from agency only and currently working under a Family Support Plan (FSP).
The helpline can be contacted for families who are not under a FSP.
Telephone: 0800 977 4077
Point 1 is a service for children and young people between the ages of 0-18 years who are experiencing the early signs of mental health difficulties and who are resident in Norfolk and have a Norfolk GP. Point 1 is a new service delivered by Ormiston Children & Families Trust, in partnership with the youth charity MAP and the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT).
The Hideout: until children and young people are safe
Women's Aid have created this space to help children and young people to understand domestic abuse, and how to take positive action if it's happening to you.
Pandora Project's Children and Young People's (CYP) Service
Offers support to those aged 5-18 affected by domestic abuse (current or historic) living in West Norfolk. The service offers one-to-one sessions with children and young people in schools and colleges, providing emotional and practical support for up to a year. They also work closely with other agencies and can attend meetings as an advocate.